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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Pol·i·cy n.; pl. Policies
 1. Civil polity. [Obs.]
 2. The settled method by which the government and affairs of a nation are, or may be, administered; a system of public or official administration, as designed to promote the external or internal prosperity of a state.
 3. The method by which any institution is administered; system of management; course.
 4. Management or administration based on temporal or material interest, rather than on principles of equity or honor; hence, worldly wisdom; dexterity of management; cunning; stratagem.
 5. Prudence or wisdom in the management of public and private affairs; wisdom; sagacity; wit.
    The very policy of a hostess, finding his purse so far above his clothes, did detect him.   --Fuller.
 6. Motive; object; inducement. [Obs.]
    What policy have you to bestow a benefit where it is counted an injury?   --Sir P. Sidney.
 Syn: -- See Polity.